Scott Police Chief Chad Leger announced Wednesday morning that he will run for Lafayette Parish Sheriff.

Leger made the announcement in historic Fernand Stutes Grocery at Acadian Village--less than a month after current Sheriff Mike Neustrom announced he would not seek reelection to the job. The announcement, made in front of a group of family and supporters, did not come as a surprise. Leger had told KPEL weeks ago that he was considering a run but that he had not yet made a decision.

Leger's mother, Judith Leger, described her son as someone who has always been goal-oriented, touting his 14 years with the sheriffs office--he served as a patrol officer, a motorcycle officer, in criminal investigations, on SWAT, and as a school resource officer--and his position as police chief in Scott, where he has served four terms.

Leger is a 26 year law enforcement veteran, with a stint in the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office before being elected to the top job in the Scott Police Department. Leger played up those credentials, saying he thought it was important for the next sheriff to have experience as a uniformed police officer.

"I believe a sheriff who knows what it's like to serve in uniform and has the experience in a range of law enforcement roles is important to ensuring the best practices are used in the field and that both officers and the public are protected," Leger said.

Leger said Scott police have "pioneered" the use of body cameras, which he said have increased accountability on both the public and officers, and he said he looks forward to exploring that technology as sheriff.

While speaking with reporters after the announcement, Leger said he's for years considered running for sheriff, and he said he felt "it was our time that we can come and make a difference and help Lafayette Parish as a whole."

Leger said he has been overwhelmed with support since before the official announcement, which has translated to a little over $180,000 in his campaign warchest--some of that from his previous campaign for police chief in Scott. In the last three weeks of December, Leger said his campaign raised $94,670.